The English Wife – Lauren Willig

Happy belated release day!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the early copy in exchange for my honest review.

THE ENGLISH WIFE – Lauren Willig (Released January 9th, 2018)

Any historical fiction fans out there?

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My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!

Some historical fiction mixed with a murder mystery? Count me in! THE ENGLISH WIFE by Lauren Willig brings readers into The Gilded Age where romance and murder are in the forefront for a high-society family. With one dead and his wife missing, will Janie be able to get the answers she’s looking for?

Bayard Van Duyvil fell in love with Annabelle when he was in London. Both from prominent families of wealth – Bayard recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson for her and their family to live. On the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Bayard is found with a knife in his chest and Annabelle is nowhere to be found. The papers go crazy with scandalous headlines and stories about the couple – was Annabelle having an affair? Did Bayard kill her and then commit suicide?

Janie, Bayard’s sister, is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. She knows her brother wouldn’t kill his wife, but then that means she has a killer to find. With the help of a newspaper reporter, she begins to unravel the lives of her brother and sister-in-law. Everything she thought she knew has all come into question now. Who were they and who could have possibly wanted them dead?

I’ll start off with saying that the writing was incredible and Willig can weave a story very well. I know that historical fiction isn’t for everyone – so will definitely be a book people will be split on. There is also the romance element thrown into the mystery, so this isn’t a straight up mystery/crime novel. That being said, I loved how the book started – someone is found dead in the home and they were killed during a ball with hundreds in attendance. How was this possible and who was the killer?

The separation between the classes, the family secrets high society keeps hidden away, and the Gothic scenery make for an engrossing read. If you love a good historical fiction novel, then I would highly recommend this one by Lauren Willig. There’s a good mystery and I loved the poetic justice at the end for the killer!

Were you looking forward to this one as well this month?

–Jess

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